Tucanos Brazilian Grill shuts down Newport News City Center location

Tucanos Brazilian Grill has shut down its enormous salad bar and served its last beef skewer.

The steakhouse, which opened in 2012 in City Center at Oyster Point, is now closed, according to a notice on the Tucanos website.

The restaurant closed shortly before its 11½-year lease was set to expire in June, Colliers Senior Vice President Tyler Brooks said in an email.

When the lease was originally signed, Tucanos leaders planned to make the Newport News store the first in a series of expansion efforts along the East Coast, Brooks said, but those plans did not materialize.

Colliers knew the tenant was planning to leave, Brooks said, and brokers are “actively marketing the City Center space to prospective tenants to backfill it, and interest is strong.”

Daily Press reporting describes the restaurant chain as an experiential dining destination that began in 2000 after founder and CEO Steve Oldham spent time in Brazil while working at PepsiCo’s international restaurant group.

According to previous reporting, each restaurant table features a red and green sided object customers can raise and lower — green means customers are ready for more skewered meats and vegetables, and red means they are finished eating or taking a break. Tucanos also had a 70-item salad bar.

When it opened, Tucanos representatives told the Daily Press they expected to hire 225 people. It was the store’s first and only location on the East Coast, according to its website.

Oldham did not respond to an email from The Virginian-Pilot and Daily Press asking for comment by the time of publication.

The first restaurant opened in Provo, Utah, and other restaurants are located in Colorado, Idaho, Missouri and New Mexico.

Another City Center tenant left in September, when Good Vibes Concert Hall and Event Venue closed after noise complaints from area residents.

Trevor Metcalfe, 757-222-5345, trevor.metcalfe@pilotonline.com